Reviews of Australian Books #63

In "The Times Literary Supplement", Elizabeth Lowry takes a detailed look at J.M. Coetzee's latest two books, Diary of a Bad Year and Inner Workings: Essays 2000-2005. She finds the novel "differs from almost all of Coetzee's earlier fiction in being laced with a dry, self-deprecating humour...Diary of a Bad Year proves that Coetzee remains the master of the brutal, the unpoetic, the relentlessly real, in the modern sense, unfailingly setting up an equation between the form of the prose itself and the desolation of the experience it describes." On the other hand, the essay collection "is a superbly well-informed and always lucid body of criticism that is never less than scholarly, but nevertheless fails to make the pulse race. Coetzee's alertness to form as something that is crucial to the purposes of literature is as keen here as it is in his fiction, and he is unfailingly perceptive when pinpointing influences."

Quercus, in the UK, continues its association with Text Publishing by releasing Adrian Hyland's Diamond Dove. In "The Guardian", Matthew Lewin calls it "a startling, confident first novel." And, in another short review, Susanna Yager in "The Telegraph thinks Hyland "is definitely a writer to watch".

Eva Niessner is quite taken by Sonya Hartnett's novel, Surrender, in "The Herald-Mail" from Hagerstown, Maryland. She finds it a great story, but dark and gritty: "Surrender is an incredible book for young adults, and I would give it the highest rating possible."

Mitchell Jordan, in the "Epoch Times", tackles Hartnett's latest, The Ghost's Child, and is similarly captivated. "This glittering writing, coupled with evocative imagery and metaphors makes reading the book a positive and uplifting experience for audiences of any age, who are unlikely not to be charmed by a tale which proves that love really is the most important thing. "

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on September 3, 2007 1:40 PM.

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Australian Bookcovers #80 - The Mango Tree by Ronald McKie is the next entry in this blog.

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